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Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

OCP’s Self-Remixed MP3s

There are few musical pleasures as singular as listening to a remix side by side with the original. It’s a unique, even if increasingly common, experience to hear something and to then hear it reworked by someone other than the creator of the original song. Neither individual track is the full experience; the experience is what your ears do and what your mind does as they reconcile, as they collate, the two versions.

The new release Interludes Part Two by OCP (born João Ricardo) on the excellent Complementary Distribution netlabel is a peculiar case. The song “Mindelo” has all the hallmarks of a house track: soulful tones, fusoid keys that modulate up and down, light percussion, glistening effects. Yet the song plays as if all those elements were set on random (MP3). The beats arrive in small batches, promising a rhythmic center, but then the bass, so thick and slow that it could be mistaken for someone speaking, goes in a different direction. It’s strong stuff.

Then there’s the “Mindelo” remix by Ferenc Vaspoeri. It’s tagged on as the mini-album’s seventh and final track. It opens with elements not particularly reminiscent of the original: a knock like a hard wood block, and a keyed bass line as simple as could be. As it moves along, the beat picks up and, surprisingly, the song becomes the dance music that the original put so much effort into avoiding (MP3). Vaspoeri’s version is less a remix than a de-mix: simplifying the complexities of what had preceded it.

The whole album is recommended, especially for how it plays with rhythm, how little bristling fillips fight to serve as the main beat on “Camuflagem” (MP3), and how generally ignorable sounds such as surface noise and slow pulses constitute the entirety of “Worm,” one of the album’s strongest tracks (MP3).

Also great is “Thin,” which like “Mindelo” sounds familiar even as it studiously avoids strict classification. What it sounds like is dub, with which it shares such hallmarks as deep echo and a certain Jello-y way with the beat, not to mention some accented, if sparse and heavily buried, vocals. But “Thin” slows everything down and strips it apart so the music becomes beautifully broken, something all its own (MP3).

Get the full release at bitlabrecords.com/cod. More on OCP/Ricardo at ocp.pt.vu and on Vaspoeri at myspace.com/ferencvaspoeri.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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